11th APRIL, 2016
WHEN HE COMES - 5
"LAZARUS: Heaven’s Beloved!"
“Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the LORD with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold He whom You love is sick."
John 11:1-3 NKJV
This background is very necessary for us to position our hearts aright, as we seek to see Christ's position in regard to what we are praying for.
“Lord, behold he whom you love is sick.”
We need to first and foremost appreciate the fact that the “Lazarus” who is sick is actually “he whom You love.” We may over-zealously omit this fact. We may even presume that Jesus must have so many faults against the Church to the extent that He may have withdrawn His love from her. We may capitalize on this 'sickness' to the extent of concluding that He must have been fed up with His Church. Yes! Lazarus is sick - sick with all kinds of spots and every kind of sin and compromise. Sick and dying, yet loved and still beloved. It must dawn on our hearts that “Jesus... having loved his own... loved them to the end.” John 13:1b.
One reason why we must expect him to come to the rescue of His Church from this current sickness is because it is “he whom He loves.” The love of God for His Church on earth is very central to His enduring patience and persistent desire to raise men and to send them with fresh anointing to call His Church back to order. Even when He rebukes, it is the manifestation of His love. When He chastises, it is because of His love. His compassion on His church is a very strong motivation for us to expect Him to visit us again.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus."
Then the Jews said,
“See how He loved him."
Again and again, His love for Lazarus was emphasized. “Now” - even in this sickness; in the present weakness of Lazarus, Jesus loved him. He loved all the ministers who laboured on the dying Lazarus. Martha ministered to him (in her own way); Mary was ministering to him; others just nursed him; others diagnosed his sickness; some ran to doctors, others were sent to call Jesus several miles away in Judea. All these were ministers to Lazarus in his trying and sick moment. I want to say with confidence that Jesus loves and appreciates every man who is seeking the recovery and restoration of Lazarus (His Church) since He Himself loves Lazarus.
As we do whatever falls to us to do in the ministry to the Church, we must do so with a clear perspective...it must be with this understanding that we are handling “he whom Jesus loves.” Every time you touch a soul for God, be it in the Sunday School or in the Adult Class; be it in the urban city or in the rural remote villages of the world, if they be called by His name, you must do so with this note firmly in your heart that you are... handling the beloved of the Lord, “the apple of His eyes.”